TORONTO — Today, Dr. David Williams, Chief Medical Officer of Health issued the following statement in response to a death in Ontario potentially related to COVID-19:
“It brings me great sadness to report a death in Ontario that is potentially related to COVID-19.
The individual was a 77-year old man who passed away on March 11 at the Royal Victoria Hospital. This individual was a close contact of a positive case andCOVID-19 was recently identified after death. The coroner’s investigation is ongoing and more will be known about the specific cause of death in the days ahead.
I know all Ontario families join me in extending our heartfelt condolences to his friends, family and loved ones. I would also like to thank all the staff who provided him excellent care.
This death is further evidence of the increasingly seriousness of the situation we are in, which is why the province has been taking decisive steps to manage the spread of COVID-19 in Ontario. Earlier today, the Ontario government enacted a declaration of emergency closing all facilities providing indoor recreational programs, public libraries, private schools, licensed child care centres, theatres, cinemas, concert venues and bars and restaurants, except to the extent that such facilities provide takeout food and delivery. These closures are effective immediately.
The declaration also prohibits organized public events of over 50 people, including parades and events and communal services within places of worship until March 31st.
It is now more important than ever that we all take steps to reduce opportunities for transmission. By working together, we can make a different in this outbreak and protect those among us who are most vulnerable to COVID-19.”